Monday, September 14, 2009

Work A'LA OR.

On occasion, the OR needs one of the SICU nurses to go to the OR and babysit a machine called an Intra Aortic Balloon Pump. It's a hot dog shaped balloon that sits in the ascending aorta and helps a really sick heart keep someone alive until we can fix the heart or the heart can recover from the shock of damage/surgery etc.
So this balloon is hooked to a machine that we have to time to work at the right time. Once it is timed in the OR, it stays pretty much the same. That leaves the nurse (me, in this case) stuck in a freezing cold OR waiting. I walk around and sometimes check out the surgery. That is really cool to see, but frankly it is a very tedious surgery (heart) and I loose interest fast. Last week I was stuck in the OR for almost FOUR hours. I thought I was going to freeze to death or fall asleep. I couldn't decide which!!

I don't think I have the "look" for the OR. My mask is a little loose, I tightened it after this pic. I just feel like I'm going to suffocate in those things. I also have a warm blanket around me too.

The machine of which I must babysit. Once it is set up, it's not that hard. I always take my little cheat sheet with me, in case 10 people from the OR want to stand behind me and tell me what to do...that makes me nervous.

Marv's butt. Because it was there.

The "pump". We didn't use it this case, but this is the machine they hook up to the heart so that they can stop it and do the oxygenating/circulating for it. A perfusionist runs it. They had it set up in case they needed to put this particular patient on it. The surgeons were able to do a 3 vessel bypass on a beating heart. Amazing eh? They have all kinds of cool toys to help.

This is our CCO machine. These aren't the best numbers, but they were HOT DIGGITY for the patient I was taking care of. I took this pic to prove to CT surgery that I had gotten them that high. Better numbers would be over 2.2 and over 60. Just so ya know.
This was an exciting day over all at work. The kind of day I love. I worked hard in the morning on a trauma that ended up passing away, despite our sweat and effort. Then I was off to the OR to "babysit" until the patient was done and then tuck him in when he got to the unit. I feel like I really test my skills and knowledge and ability to think fast AND be able to move quickly.
Took me 2 days to recover! I really do LOVE my job!
Blog On........


  1. Wow, you get to see some really amazing things..

  2. You look so cute in your get-up! Brings back memories~